MALAITA Premier Daniel Suidani says there are four reasons why his government is not supporting a switch in diplomatic relationships from Taiwan to China.
“First, Solomon Islands is a Christian and democratic nation and it will not sway from its foundation,” the premier told Malaitans who stage a public march in Auki yesterday in support for Taiwan.
“Secondly, the democratic family has been financing us in the form of development grants; assistance that we are not required to repay, assistance from concerned friends with the heart to help.
“Thirdly, it is clear that Mainland China is offering to help our country in the form of bilateral development loans, as it did to our neighbours Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. We are obliged to repay these loans under international law.
“In the case that we fail to repay such debts, China may take over the country for as long as it takes to recover the loans that it gives to us.
“The fourth reason is not about funding, so be clear on this.
“Leadership is the issue at hand.
“Sufficient funding in the form of grants is still available, but since birth of our nation 41 years ago, our leaders have miserably failed to manage these funds in a way that fosters realistic development.
“Just imagine if such corrupt practices are allowed to developmental loans, the sure thing that will happen is that our nation will be forced deeper into debt, even to the extent that another nation takes us over for as long as is necessary for it to fully recover its debt.”
Suidani appeals to the people of Malaita to maintain their Christian and democratic principles and continue supporting democracy as it is the only free avenue for realization and respect for human dignity and the freedom to survive and thrive without oppression or suppression.
By WILSON SAENI